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New Issue of Western Confluence Magazine Explores Forest Issues in West

July 25, 2014
Forest fire behind house
Casper Star-Tribune photographer Alan Rogers took this photo during the 2012 Sheep Herder Hill fire on Casper Mountain.

Energy production from beetle-killed trees and impacts of wildfires are among stories in the second issue of Western Confluence magazine, published by the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming.

Western Confluence covers innovative and collaborative problem solving for natural resource challenges in the West with an emphasis on new research and creative solutions. The magazine is offered free to interested readers, who can add themselves to the mailing list by entering their addresses at  at the “Subscribe” tab under “About” or by emailing their addresses to

Feature stories in the new issue include “Beetle-Kill Fuels Bioenergy,” about a collaborative project among several Western universities, including UW, to investigate the potential for generating biofuels from beetle-killed wood.

Kelly Hatton, the magazine’s graduate assistant during the 2013-14 academic year, wrote that story. In addition, Wyoming writer Samuel Western contributed a story titled “Up in Flames,” in which he investigates the economic systems that contribute to people building homes in difficult-to-protect locations vulnerable to wildfire.

The issue also includes stories about a national forest planning task force; UW scientists’ research into water flows in beetle-killed tree stands; UW eminent artist in residence Bently Spang’s installation on wildfire; and an essay from botany Professor Emeritus Dennis Knight about forests changing through time.

For two decades, the Ruckelshaus Institute has supported collaborative, informed management of natural resources in the West by hosting conferences and roundtables, publishing reports and white papers and facilitating decision-making efforts. Western Confluence furthers that work by providing a forum for natural resource managers, decision makers and stakeholders to share their stories, and by engaging a wider audience to think critically about how we take care of our natural resources in the West.

Visit the Western Confluence magazine website,, to browse articles, download a pdf, submit a story for a future issue, donate, or be added to the mailing list.


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